1. Psychological Problems. Narcissism, Borderline Personality Disorder and other types of mental illnesses can cause serious emotional pain and damage; learn about them and look out for look out for the warning signs in yourself or in your partner, so that appropriate help can be sought out before they sabotage the relationship or the people in it.
2. Projections. A loving partner can reassure us about how much they value us and help us to learn to appreciate ourselves, but no-one can fill another person’s inner “love deficit” or the lack of self-valuing that can come from painful early family experiences.
3. Envy/Insecurity. If you are secretly envious of your partner’s status, wealth, skills etc., this might feel like “attraction” but it will undermine you and your lover.
4. Hidden Power Struggles. These usually involve passive-aggressive behaviors, which aim, in an unacknowledged way, to hurt or undermine the other person. The only antidote is to admit to these feelings to yourself and to your partner.
5. Need For Validation. We can only accept and appreciate others, and be accepted and appreciated by others, to the extent that we accept and appreciate ourselves.
6. Fear of Loneliness. If either of you is willing to put up with disappointment and/or change your basic nature to fit in with another person’s needs from a fear of being abandoned or alone, this is an expression of an insecure “attachment style”. It’s not a foundation for a good relationship and means you’re being dishonest and selling yourself short, which will inevitably lead to mutual recrimination and tears.